Spring marks our first ever COFFEE COACHING SESSION!!!!
(imagine confetti and party hats).
Do you know where most riding accidents occur?
Answer: When the rider is getting on.
I can see how this is possible. I have seen so many riders get on their horse while the horse is walking off it makes my heart stop.
Our FIRST Question is from a Reader having trouble with an older horse that is new to her.
She is really struggling with getting her saddled and then getting on at the mounting block. She is having a custom saddle made and is having an equine chiropractor work on her just to rule out any pain issues.
There is nothing that can put a damper on riding more than having issues before you even get on!
The biggest hinderance people have in learning great horsemanship is believing there must be something outside of themselves they must have in order to do it.
YOU can do this too. You don’t have to be the strongest, fastest, smartest, etc. You just have to up your level of awareness and the only way you can do that is by TAKING ACTION and trying it yourself.
In this video, I outline 5 exercises great horsemen and women use when working with horses that have an issue like this.
A few pointers for you before you get started:
1. Most horsemen recommend using Rope Halters. One tip I learned from Buster McLaury is the less hardware you have the better. This includes the “branded” rope halters with ropes you can buy that have the metal piece connecting the rope to the halter below the chin. I actually heard a rider say once they liked the metal piece so they could pop the horse under the chin with it (hand to forehead). The advantage of a rope halter with a rope connected directly to it has to do with connection and influence. You can get a softer, more direct connection to the horse with less effort. Web and and leather halters take significantly more work to get the same feel and connection, if ever. To test yourself, put a rope halter on with the rope attached directly to it. See how little it takes to move the rope for the horse to feel it. Now do the same with your leather halter with your metal clip rope. You will see exactly what I mean. Double Diamond Halters make really nice rope halters if you need to get one.
2. Make sure you are not holding onto your horse tightly all the time. A good rule of thumb is there should be a loop between you and your horse. A straight line usually means you’re pulling.
3. Do not attempt to tack your horse tied up until you can do it loose. By loose, I mean with you holding onto the rope. If your horse is dancing around or looking at everyone but you, put that energy to work! Take the opportunity to move her hindquarters around with purpose, with YOU directing that energy, and then stop. If they stop, and stand, great! That is what you wanted! Go back to what you were doing before the dancing began.
4. Reward your horse Generously. The term “Pet her to Death” should be taken for exactly what it is! Horses LOVE to be rubbed, pet and scratched. Try your best not to slap your horse. They really don’t like it. Even horses who are used to being slapped will tighten their bodies in preparation for it. Wouldn’t you?
Do you have a question for Clinic Horsemanship? Be sure to click the orange button to the right and leave a voice mail! If your question gets answered I will send you a special gift!
Did this article help you? Leave a comment below!